Posts Tagged ‘oclc’

Barbara Chen comments on the WorldCat-MLA Project

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

I asked Barbara Chen, the editor of the MLA International Bibliography,  to comment on OCLC’s plan to include the Bibliography‘s records in WorldCat Local.  Here is her reply:

When OCLC first approached us with an idea to include the Bibliography in WorldCat Local, I realized that this would be a good opportunity for the MLA to experiment. Both organizations were trying to think in new, creative ways to encourage findability for a range of users. We understand that we may be able to reach more students and scholars by integrating our database into a simple search platform than we would as a standalone file. We are expecting OCLC will remind users where they are finding the most relevant material on language and literature by including our name in their search results screen. Once users recognize the wealth of information the Bibliography holds on their topics of interest, they will want to come back and search us again. It doesn’t matter if the search is performed through WorldCat or in the Bibliography. Users will have an option to either type in a few keywords in a multi-file search or to set their sights on a specific database, browsing indexes and thesauri or even our Directory of Periodicals.

WorldCat Local will be a conduit to information but it will not be the final resting place for data files. Libraries will still need to subscribe through their vendor of choice to be able to access records.

 I understand that WorldCat Local is a work in progress with expected date of introduction for this part of the operation in July 2009. Even though I am not directly involved in its implementation, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the system. My goal is to improve the Bibliography to the best of my ability, and I can only do that in communication with others.

Barbara Chen
Director of Bibliographic Information Services
and Editor, MLA International Bibliography
26 Broadway
New York, NY 10004-1789
tel. (646) 576-5076
fax (646) 835-4021